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Overseas Harvested Grain and Oilseed Acreage Outpacing U.S.

Since 2003, overseas acreage of harvested grains and oilseeds has continued to expand by an average 17.8 million acres per year, while U.S. acreage has largely remained stagnant, reflecting how even though U.S. agriculture has been struggling, agriculture in the rest of the world has been seeing sustained prosperity since the early 2000s.

Agricultural economist Carl Zulauf of Ohio State University points out how farmers in Argentina, Brazil, Russia, and Ukraine were more likely to profit from corn and soybeans over 2013-2017, compared to U.S. growers of the same crops. In a post on farmdoc daily, Zulauf states, “Throughout the 21st Century US growth has lagged behind the rest of the world (ROW) growth and is likely the reason for the recent struggles of the US farm sector.”

Not only is this trend an economic one, but it is also a climate change issue, noted Zulauf, who explained that not taking into account these factors when establishing climate policies risks spending a lot of money that may accomplish little, or even be harmful.

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